@bollard: "the first Witcher." Well there's your problem. The second game was much better received and more playable.
The Witcher is the Mad Max to Witcher 2's Road Warrior. The Terminator to Witcher 2's Terminator 2. Just pretend like the sequel was actually the original and you'll be fine.
Perfect comparison. I'd add, the Witcher is also Alien to Witcher 2's Aliens.
Also, you can dive right into the sequel and it explains all of the necessary things from the first game. Witcher 1 is a treasure for those of us who can overlook stale combat and jankiness for the awesome world and characters, but anyone interested in general can dive right into Witcher 2 without really missing anything.
Not really a good comparison because Alien and T1 are really good, and Witcher 1 is...eh. That being said yeah, pick up Witcher 2 on Steam, download a save for Witcher 1 (off the W2 Nexus) and go. I think it was even free with XBL Gold recently too.
Anyway, this looks so wonderful. I need to replay Witcher 2 before it comes out as well.